How to Use Email and Text Messaging Together

Kevin D. Hendricks
How to Use Email and Text Messaging Together

We like to tout how text messaging is better than email (and it is), but rather than a competition, the two channels can work together. Good nonprofit marketing will leverage both email and text messaging to connect with their supporters.

Why Use Both Email and Text Messaging?

Despite the better open rates and response rates for text messaging, most organizations aren’t ready to give up on email marketing. Here’s why your marketing strategy should use text messaging and email:

  • Email is king: We’re big fans of text messaging, but let’s be honest—email is the 1,000-pound gorilla in the market. Everyone uses email, consumers prefer it, and most people are just more accustomed to email. You can’t just abandon it.
  • Different strengths: Email and texting have different strengths. Texting is great for urgent updates, notifications, and reminders that people need to see immediately. Email is good for more in-depth details and attachments. Texting is short and quick. Email can be longer and more involved. You want the best of both worlds.
  • Transition: Using both can be a good way to transition, both for users who maybe aren’t used to text messages and for your organization that might be used to email and unsure of text messaging.
  • Multiple touchpoints: It takes so many marketing contacts to get people to take action that you can’t stick to a single channel. Multi-channel marketing is all about creating more touchpoints and having more opportunities for someone to respond.
  • Cover your bases: It’s never a good idea to put all your eggs in one basket. You never know when a technical or regulation change will come and destroy an existing channel. Your nonprofit organization should have options.

3 Ways to Use Email and Text Messaging Together

So let’s explore three specific ways your nonprofit can use email and text messaging together:

1. Timely Follow Up

Use text messages for an immediate, time-sensitive follow up after an email blast. 

Example: After sending a fundraising email, send a quick text reminder to re-engage subscribers who haven’t opened the email.

Why: This dual-channel approach ensures maximum reach and reinforces your message. But it’s crucial to maintain a balance and not overwhelm your audience with too many messages.

Text message: "We're feeding hungry kids in your neighborhood, and we need help. See our latest email for details or donate now."

2. Email for Details, Text for Highlights

Use email to send detailed information, like newsletters, event details, or comprehensive fundraising campaigns. Then use text messages to highlight the most important points.

Example: HEADstrong Foundation sends a reminder about important emails with a direct link to the email: “If somebody was really busy or maybe it got lost in the sauce in their inbox, they can catch that email and get it right on their phone.”

Why: This strategy helps capture the attention of those who prefer concise content and serves as a reminder to those who have missed or skipped over the longe remain content.

Text message: "Our charity bike ride kicks off tomorrow! We'll see you there at 7:30 a.m. for registration. Look for the blue tent. See our latest email for all the specifics. Thanks for riding."

3. Personalize and Segment

Tailor both email text messages to specific segments of your audience based on their interests and previous interactions. Personalized texts can direct subscribers to personalized email content, creating a cohesive and customized experience.

Example: Target donors who attended your last fundraising event with a text message with a photo and results from last year’s event, telling them to watch their inbox for an email invite with details about this year’s event.

Why: This approach increases engagement as it shows you understand and value your subscribers’ preferences and interests, leading to better results in your fundraising or marketing campaigns.

Text message: "Remember last year's fundraiser when we kicked cancer in the pants?! Maria, we couldn't have done it without your help. Thank you. Ready to do it again? Watch your email for the official invite." With a photo of a crowd.

Use ‘em Both

Effective nonprofit marketing uses every tool available. Rally can help.

  • Text-to-give platform: Mobile fundraising is easy with our fundraising tools. People can text a custom keyword to a short code and get a quick link to your donation form. It uses your existing donation platform, so it’s streamlined and user-friendly. They can use a credit card right on their smartphone through your donation page.
  • Giving tools: We offer integration with multiple fundraising platforms and customer relationship management (CRM) systems, plus other tools including ringless voicemail and a fundraising thermometer.
  • Solid support: Our functionality is simple and easy to use, but if you ever need help we’re here. We’ve got FAQs, pre-written text message templates, webinars, and more. Plus, we’re happy to take a voice call.

Book a demo today and let’s talk about how we can help you get results.

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